Opened 7 years ago

Closed 5 years ago

#8933 closed project (fixed)

Do a security audit of Onion Browser

Reported by: mttp Owned by:
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Applications/Orbot Version:
Severity: Keywords:
Cc: Phoul, arma, ioerror, nickm, n8fr8, phobos, mike@… Actual Points:
Parent ID: #5895 Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:


There exists a web browser for iOS that uses Tor[0]. It costs 0.99 USD from Apple's app store, but it is open source. The code is hosted on Github[1]. This project is actively maintained, with the last update being made on May 18, 2013 (The main page mistakenly says May 18, 2012, but the description says it has an update to tor version

The project already maintains its own list of known issues[2]. Some of them (like # 26) already make me squirm. However, if Tor is ever going to make its way to iOS, working with someone who has already put considerable work into such a project might be easier than starting from scratch. The developer seems open to working with Tor people because (1)he's open-sourced the project and (2)he claims that he is donating a percentage of the proceeds to the Tor Project.

From responding to help desk tickets, I can say that there is considerable user demand for Tor on iOS. I think it would be great to make a list of things such that we could say "If Onion Browser stopped doing X and did Y all the time, the Tor Project could recommend it to users."

If there are other concerns here I am missing, please bring them up/modify this ticket/whatever.


Child Tickets

Change History (8)

comment:1 Changed 7 years ago by n8fr8

+1 agreed. We have some funding at Guardian Project to do this, if we can find the right team, person, etc.

comment:2 Changed 7 years ago by mtigas

Cc: mike@… added

Hey all, totally willing to assist you guys if you find the person/time to do this.

The only actual patches to tor src are documented: [1][2]

Mostly, I’m concerned in issues with the actual architecture of the app — the app itself is a massive hack in which iOS app runs Tor as a thread within the same process (a way to bypass the fact that non-jailbroken iOS apps cannot execute subprocesses). (Some details are mentioned in [1].) Still not 100% sure as to what weaknesses this possibly allows, but that's something I'd love to have looked at.


comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by n8fr8

"To derive the greatest possible value from these audits, OTF has developed and published a process by which to evaluate technical security audit reports from the perspective of a funder, not a technologist. Further, OTF offers in-kind audits beyond the program’s directly funded projects to other crucial Internet freedom projects in need. To date, OTF supported more than 30 technology audits of foremost Internet freedom tools. The result was a swift and visible increase of safety throughout the whole community."

We should get OTF to fund an "in kind audit". They have some good iOS security audit folks:

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by n8fr8

@miketigas you want to fill out the form, or should I?

comment:5 Changed 6 years ago by mtigas

@n8fr8 I’ll take care of that application/assessment, thanks.

comment:7 Changed 5 years ago by isis

Component: CompanyOrbot

"Company" component is defunct; moving to "Orbot"; feel free to refile.

comment:8 Changed 5 years ago by saint

Resolution: fixed
Status: newclosed
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